Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Hobby Farm

I just read the article in our local paper about "hobby farming."  The definition of a hobby farm seems to be a small farm with owners who have another stream of income.  The other term discussed in the article was "homesteading," which was explained as a family who is able to mostly live off of the things produced on the farm.  It was interesting to read about those two things and think about which category we fit into here on the funny farm.

Jerry and I both work.  We need both incomes to keep everything afloat.  I sometimes wonder if we are working to support our farming habits!  Truthfully though, we do grow and raise a lot for our family, but we are nowhere close to being self-sufficient!  We figured out a few years ago that we had to make a decision to go all out or scale it back - and we made the choice to scale it back!

At one time, on our little two acre farm, we had approximately 150 animals.  That number was mostly chickens, but it did include rabbits and goats.  We were, at the time, raising six different breeds of chickens and selling the birds and the eggs.  When the chickens were laying well, we were able to buy most of the animal feed with the egg sales.  We found ourselves falling behind though when the chickens molted or stopped laying because of the weather.

We really began focusing on our budget a few years ago, and when we noticed our animal feed budget becoming larger than the grocery budget, we knew it was time to scale back our operation.  We began to sell off and process the chickens and rabbits.  It was hard not to replace them, but it was also a relief as we cut back on the work as well.  Since that time, we have increased in goats, but we only have enough chickens and rabbits to sustain our family.  

It was really fun having a large number of animals, but it was also a big burden.  I can see us adding more at a later date, but for now, I'm glad this is only a hobby farm!

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